Bankers have been meeting Treasury and Reserve Bank officials every day for the past couple of weeks to hammer out details of the new R200bn loan guarantee scheme the banks will launch for small and medium-sized business customers in coming weeks.

The scheme aims to ensure that companies shut down by the coronavirus crisis can stay alive long enough to eventually recover. It’s ultimately government aid, provided via the Bank — but it uses the infrastructure of SA’s banking industry as a conduit to get the money to firms, “to save jobs and support the economy”, as the Banking Association of SA (Basa) puts it...

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